New Idaho Speaker Bedke has conciliatory words, suggests chairmanship for Denney

Newly elected Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke said he doesn't plan to remove any incumbent committee chairmen and that he's considering asking former Speaker Lawerence Denney to lead a committee.

"I'm not anticipating making any changes," said Bedke, R-Oakley, shortly after Denney swore him in as his successor Thursday morning. Bedke said he will try to reshuffle schedules to allow every member to have a morning committee and rely heavily on a record-breaking freshman class.

Denney, a 16-year House veteran from Midvale, will have a "substantive role," Bedke said. "We do not have the luxury to overlook experience."

Bedke has sole authority to name chairs and vice-chairs. Retirements and moves to the Senate have left six of 14 committee chairmanships vacant: Business, Commerce & Human Resources, Education, Health & Welfare, Resources & Conservation and Revenue & Taxation.

"My platform all along has been one of inclusion," Bedke said, adding that the large freshman class -- 31 lawmakers elected to their first term in a 70-member House -- requires a different approach. "It's absolutely imperative that we plug people in. By necessity, they will have more of a role."

Bedke said regional and philosophical balance will be important standards and that he will resist "stacking" committees. He said he will encourage colleagues to avoid labeling one another and have open minds about varying viewpoints.

"Each one of these people are their districts' first choice," he said.

Bedke said he expects to have a good relationship with Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, who supported Denney for a fourth term as speaker. Moyle held the No. 2 leadership post the last six years, while Bedke was the No. 3, assistant leader.

"I think history has shown that I get along with Rep. Moyle very well," Bedke said.

Of his win, which was the first forced ouster of a top Idaho Legislative leader since 1982, Bedke said, "I'm grateful. I'm humbled. I'm happy. I didn't take this on lightly."

Sounds downright sensible

Kudos to Bedke for his initial talking points. Now hopefully he can deliver... it would be great to see this Legislature roll up its sleeves and get to business rather than preen and posture in made-for-Fox-News-type photo ops and sound bites. We don't need used car salesmen and infomercial hosts, we need statespeople!!

No chairmanship for Denney

Why ruin such a clear message to him?

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“Baby Steps to Ethics” Denney unfit to chair a committee...

The “Baby Steps to Ethics Boys” and their ilk are unfit to lead. Unfit to chair any committee? They are experienced only at embarrassing fellow Republicans, Idaho Citizens, reaping benefits from Lobbyists and doing the bidding of the the Lobbyists who pay them.

Why did Nonini deep six the excellent Cronin legislation that would have protected Idaho Citizens from bad actors in the troubled For-profit education industry? How much money did the troubled For-profit education industry, K-12 Corporation, Apollo Group/University of Phoenix, and others pay Denney and Nonini the past two sessions?

Abramoff: "Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!!" Mike Scanlon: "I want all their MONEY!!!" Email interchange between Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, February 6, 2002

Party Member Swears in Another

Excuse me for being insulted.

A Party Member swears in a new Leader. I knew I was a fool to expect either of the two Republican's to take an an oath on a State or Federal Constitution.

I have to ask what "book", that demands such "Ceremony /money", where the disgraced Party Leader, had his Successor, Swear? Was it the Party's Red book?

Give him the lead throne in the Room of Rest!

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